European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Fourth report on Liechtenstein [en] - [fr] - [deu]

Press Release – 19.02.2013

German version

Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission publishes new report on Liechtenstein

Strasbourg, 19.02.2013 - The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published its fourth report on Liechtenstein. ECRI’s Chair, Ms Eva Smith, said that, while there are positive developments, some issues of concern remain, including the legislation on Foreigners and the absence of a comprehensive civil and administrative legal framework aimed at combating racial discrimination in all fields of life.

Several racially motivated offences, including violent acts, have been swiftly prosecuted by the judicial authorities. There are plans to set up an independent Ombudsman’s Office. Measures have been adopted to strengthen equal opportunities in access to education.

However, there are worries that the administrative reform plan providing for the disbanding of the Equal Opportunities Office will greatly compromise the effective handling of complaints and the provision of advice in an independent manner. There are consistent reports of discrimination in employment and in access to housing, particularly against women of Muslim faith wearing a headscarf. The Law on Foreigners has clear discriminatory implications with respect to non EU-nationals’ access to public services.

In its report, ECRI has made a number of recommendations to the authorities, among which the following three require priority implementation and will be revisited by ECRI in two years’ time:

  • The responsibilities of the new Office for Social Affairs and of the Ombudsman’s Office should be specified. The latter should be designated as the national specialised body for combating racism and racial discrimination;
  • A number of provisions of the Law on Foreigners should be abrogated, notably: Article 49; Article 69 (2) (e); and Article 27 (3) and (4). These have discriminatory implications and run counter to one of the stated aims of the Government’s 2007 integration policy concerning equal access to social welfare;
  • Issues relating to the integration of non-nationals should be addressed by the social agencies, with a clear allocation of responsibility.

The report is available here. It was prepared following ECRI’s contact visit to Liechtenstein in February 2012 [Press Release – 23.02. 2012] and takes account of developments up to 20 June 2012.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination), as well as xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI:

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28,